what's the difference between customer and client

@sophialin (2678)
China
July 20, 2008 8:52am CST
i wonder what's the difference between customer and client? it seems no difference. to explain with an example is preferred. welcome all members to come here for a discussion.any reply from you is appreciated.
6 people like this
23 responses
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
20 Jul 08
A customer is someone who you see for the first time... and he might or might not buy something from you. A client is a regular customer who keeps coming back to buy more things from you. Clients are very valuable and you look after them with extra care... as they are the foundation of a strong secure business.
@teison2 (5924)
• Norway
20 Jul 08
I am not sure if there is a real difference. maybe just a slight one. I have worked for social services for many years. During my education and years at work there have been several discussions about what to call our customers or clients. Arguments are that clients are more passive and have less rights. But then you have lawyers - there clients have just as many rights as customers. I do not know. maybe users are a better word altogether. Also there may be differences in different languages that a translation does not really cover.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Jul 08
I worked at Social Services here in the US. We had the same discussions. I always called my clients, clients! They were certainly not buying anything. I think that is just being a little too politically correct to use the word customer for client.
1 person likes this
@teison2 (5924)
• Norway
20 Jul 08
I always called them clients too. I never really got involved in the discussions as there were other issues that I felt needed attention much much more urgently
@Hatley (164239)
• Garden Grove, California
20 Jul 08
sophialin to me a customer is someone who buys food from the grocerystore, while to me a client is what I am if I go to a lawyer for help with some legal matter. Also if a person checks out a book from a library she is a patron of the library. A customer is buying some sort of goods, a client is getting legal help instead,emotional help versus tangible goods. a patron is someone who patronized a library to check out goods.
• United States
20 Jul 08
A customer is someone who buys something from you (food, clothes, car); a client is someone who pays you for your services. I worked at Social Services and they wanted us to call our clients customers. I never did, though. It's just not correct English. Besides, I resent so much political correctness!
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (61063)
• United States
20 Jul 08
I don't think there is a lot of difference, but I tend to view it as short term or long term. If you have a long term relationship with someone, that you are providing more assistive aide to, then client might be a more appropriate term. A customer is someone that you may provide long term service to, but only on short term meetings. So, someone that you provide repair service to once in a while is more of a customer while a person, or group you provide daily or at least weekly service for is a client. I provide home health care to a client, and my roommate provides service to a realitively small group of people often and can be called clients. Meanwhile, my other roommate is a toll booth person on a toll way, she may see nearly the same people every day, but only for a few moments, and they might get a different toll taker, they are more customers.
2 people like this
@ratyz5 (7829)
• Philippines
20 Jul 08
Customers buy goods or services from a shop or a business while Clients are also like customers but, they avail of services from professionals or from an organization. An example would be a customer would buy anything from a convenient store while a client would avail legal services from a lawyer.
• India
20 Jul 08
a client does business with a firm regularly(that means he is a regular customer) ... but a customer is a person who does business with you one time. i too don't know the exact difference, you have raised a doubt in my mind too by starting this discussion, my answer is based on what i found out by searching the internet.
2 people like this
• China
26 Jul 08
General speaking,customer is someone who pays for goods or service, and client is someone that is under protection of another.And client can be used more widely and more officially.
1 person likes this
@maquisa (316)
• Philippines
24 Jul 08
i think theirs no difference,because everybody of us is customer and also a client!thanks!
1 person likes this
@chrislotz (8200)
• Canada
24 Jul 08
There is no difference between a customer and a client. But usually a person talks about a customer as in retail stores, and clients as in people who continuously you are selling to. For examples, when I go to the grocery store I am a customer. I am in business for myself and I have clients. I call them clients because I don't go to them only once but on a continous basis. I clean houses for a living and I go to clients houses once a week or once every two weeks and so since they are continous business for me, they are called clients. But really there is no difference as they are the same thing, clients and customers.
1 person likes this
@rosema (1145)
• Philippines
24 Jul 08
Hi sophialin, its a very good question but also very hard to answer, maybe I just look for another member to answer this. Anyway in my own honest opinion a customer is a person that we have to take good care of specially if they are a good client to us. Did I say something wrong? I see yes maybe customer and client is just the same in a way we treated them in the same way.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 08
A customer is a person who will either buy something from you or use you service once or twice while a client buys into your service and uses it for a long time. An agent has clients. He/she has a long term relationship with their clients . While a supermarket has customers. They may shop there once a week and then stop or shop there only once.
1 person likes this
@vicky30 (4773)
• India
22 Jul 08
A customer is a person who is always there when transactions take place.A client is a person who sits remotely and manages all the activities.
@heidou (13)
• China
21 Jul 08
I work about IT.We always say "the client access the server" and not say"the customer access the server".
1 person likes this
@kun2349 (23464)
• Singapore
21 Jul 08
The difference between the two is, a customer pays u cash right after a deal is done, regardless of service crew or sales personnel.. As for client, the business dealing or service is still the same, except that, they dun pay u right away and u wun receive cash from them directly, instead it's thru a 3rd party ^_^ hehe
• Canada
21 Jul 08
Customers are people who pay for products (my father sold leather, he had many customers! The ccoffee shop I like has many customers) whereas clients pay for services (lawyers, agents, and babysitters all have clients.)
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (115037)
• United States
20 Jul 08
I would say a customer buys something, like food, a purse, gasoline, but a client receives services or intangibles, like insurance, home care, hair styling. The adult mentally handicapped population I serve are called "Clients". People who shop at Wal Mart, or go to a restaurant or a gas station are customers.
@Jody20 (887)
• Netherlands
20 Jul 08
I think your a customer when you buy something in a shop. When you hire the service of a lawyer, your a client of a lawyer. That's the only difference i can think of.
@bbsr13 (4198)
• India
20 Jul 08
Hello,sophialin! The meaning of customer and client are alike.a customer is a person who buys some materials from a business house and a client is a person who receives some service or advice like service from a lawyer or a doctor. clients visits the house of the lawyer or the doctor for advice.this is the difference.thanx.
@jpso138 (7863)
• Philippines
27 Jul 08
Well they are almost the same. But obviously a customer is someone who buys items that you are selling. In other words its more of products taht you are offering to get costumers. But if we talked about client, they are actually after your services. In other words, you are offering more of services like being a lawyer, doctor etc.